Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Suffering Unleashes Love

Today, the story of Celeste's life is being shared again. This time, as the cover story on Life Site News. We are so incredibly humbled by the way that Celeste's story has had such lasting effects.  At the same time, it is  hard to relive that night over again.  When the suffering is too great, and the memories of that night are too hard, I try to unite my suffering to our Blessed Mother. I remind myself that she too felt that deep-down heaviness in her heart at the thought of the fate of her child's life.  She too was with her child through death.  I have a relationship with our Blessed Mother that I never would have, had I not lost my Celeste.

I have never shared most of the stories of how Celeste's life changed the world. I'd like to a few of them now with you.

About a month after Celeste died, Kemi returned to work. One of the events they were performing at that weekend was for young adults.  Before the night began, a young man who was supposed to be giving a talk came to Kemi and said he hadn't prepared anything in particular, but felt moved to simply read my blog post about Celeste's birth story. He had read it, and felt that that was what he was being prompted to share that evening. Kemi gave him permission, and that night, to a crowd of thousands of young adults, he read my words about the birth and death of our daughter.  Kemi and the band played, and after the evening was over, something incredible happened. A young woman approached Kemi, and asked to speak with him.  She shared that she was pregnant, and had planned to have an abortion. Hearing about Celeste's life changed her mind. She had called her parents minutes prior to tell them about her pregnancy.  She explained to Kemi that she had been so fearful to share the news with them, knowing how disappointed and angry they would be. What she experienced was quite different. Her parents reacted with love, reassuring her it would be ok, and they would get through it as a family.

As if that weren't enough, another young woman approached Kemi after that. She explained that a few years prior, her sister, whom she was very close with, had died unexpectedly. She spoke through tears as she explained that she had never forgiven God for it. Hearing our words about Celeste's life and death changed her heart. She realized in Celeste's story that all these years she had been longing to have her sister back, God had been trying to point her eyes to Heaven, and change the desires of her heart.

Maybe ten years or so ago, a very holy and wise friend of mine told me that "suffering unleashes love." I don't think I ever understood it. That is, I don't think I ever understood it until I lost my daughter.

Celeste's life and death continues to change lives. When Kemi told me about these young women whose lives were changed because we lost our daughter, my heart broke all over again. My eyes welled, my nose stung, the old familiar lump took its place in my throat, as I relived that night.  It's still so raw, and so tender for my heart to go back to that night. And yet, in my own brokenness and hurt, all I could think and pray was thanks be to our God who allows miracles. Who can use broken and hurt people like Kemi and I, and a one pound, 22 week baby girl to change lives.  Who has plans that in my humanness I don't understand. Because sometimes He is a God of unexplainable things. He changes lives through death and He allows suffering to unleash love.


  1. Wow. Corinna, this is an amazing post. I am so in awe of your strength and love. I go to the same church as you, and we have some similar friends, but I don't know you very personally. But your blog shows your true persona and it is extraordinary.

    I cannot imagine going through what you did, and then you go on to share many of your most painful moments with complete vulnerability. It is truly beautiful. In a world that tries to "be the tough guy", I think your posts exemplify that there is a different road that one could take in such circumstances, one that is humble, honest and true. Not only is Celeste changing the world, but because of her life, you are, too. As women, it can be hard to show our true hurts out of fear or rejection. Your courage and boldness is something that I think all women in our society could use a lesson in.

    Didn't mean to write a novel, but your posts have really touched me. So, thanks.


    1. Thank you for your kind words. I question myself all the time about whether or not I am too honest, and wonder if maybe I should keep it to myself. But when I hear of how others have been touched by Celeste's life, or the witness even just her pictures have been to the Pro Life cause, I am reassured that we are using our gift in being Celeste's parents to love God and praise Him through her life.

  2. Hey Corinna, I'm Anna May, friends with Kemi and Emily Wilson's older sister. I've been keeping up with your blog and I just want you to know I am and have been praying for you and your beautiful family. Thank you for your unending faithfulness. I am so moved, humbled and inspired by your story, your faith, and your hope.

    Thank you so much for your vulnerability and honesty. I will continue to pray for your whole family & I give my love to all of you.

    Anna May

    1. Mazie, thank you so much for your prayers. It means so much to me. We need them!